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Information Literacy Tutorial

A module-based information literacy tutorial that addresses each stage of the research process, including selecting a topic, identifying information needs, selecting sources, locating information, evaluating information, and citing sources.

Tips for structuring

From your notes, select the information that will make the best argument or discussion.  It isn't reasonable to write about everything you discover about the topic, so choose a few things to discuss in detail that will demonstrate your understanding.

Make a list of all of the points you wish to make, and then group these points into common themes or categories. 

Decide which is the best sequence for the themes.

Prepare a plan (see the example below)


Essay outline

The simplified diagram below shows what an essay should look like structurally. It is important that the introduction, body and conclusion are linked together as a whole.  The introduction will contextualise the topic before stating the problem (specific topic).  You may state your position (thesis statement) and then briefly outline what will appear in your essay.

A typical body paragraph has the following structure:
• a topic sentence which conveys the main idea of the paragraph and is commonly found at the beginning of a paragraph.
supporting sentences which, using your research and citing your sources, provide discussion and examples which add to and expand upon the topic sentence.
• a concluding sentence can help to tie the paragraph together, or may raise a question that links to the next paragraph. 

At all times, guide your reader through your writing by signalling when you are introducing a new topic and relating it to the whole assignment.




University of the Western Cape,

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Tel: 021 959 2946